It’s a Duesy: A Colorized Look at America’s Most Luxurious Car
You have probably used the phrase, “It’s a Duesy,” once or twice in your life. The phrase means “it’s the real deal, it’s top quality”. It started in the late 1920s and can trace its origins back to one of America’s most luxurious and expensive automobiles, the Duesenberg Model J.
As we will see in these colorized photographs, the Duesenberg Model J was in a class by itself. It was the Rolls Royce of American-made cars, but brothers Fred and Augie Duesenberg of Duesenberg Motors had terrible timing. Let’s take a look at the Duesenberg Model J and the Duesenberg brothers.
The Duesenberg Brothers Had a Need for Speed
Frederick and August Duesenberg personified both the American Dream and the superiority of German engineering. The brothers, called Fred and Augie, were both born in Lippe, Germany but immigrated to the United States as youngsters. They grew up on their family’s Iowa farm. As boys, Fred and Augie were more interested in tinkering with mechanics than they were in farming. They also had a need for speed.
The brothers opened a bicycle shop in Rockford, Iowa, in the 1890s because Fred Duesenberg had become seriously involved in bicycle racing. In fact, he set several world records during his time as a competitive bike racer. To help him train, the brothers designed and built a motorcycle. They were so successful that they tried their hands at building an automobile. For a short time, they were in business with a friend, Fred Maytag, but he soon left to start his own company making washing machines.